To coincide with the RLSS’ Drowning Prevention Week for 2018, SwimTrek has put together its top tips ensuring your own and others safety in the water and taking steps to prevent drowning wherever possible. Over 700 people drown in the UK and Ireland every year – equivalent to one person drowning every 20 hours. The Government is supporting the National Water Safety Forum National Drowning prevention strategy, which aims to achieve 50% reduction in drowning by 2026. Help equip yourself and others with the skills to prevent drowning by taking the time to think about your safety skills in the water this Drowning Prevention Week.
Tell others where and when you are swimming
Always let someone know that you are going swimming and try to give an estimation of how long you’re going to be. If you can, swim in a lifeguarded area and let the lifeguards know where you plan to swim. Lifeguards are a great source of knowledge and beach lifeguards should be able to advise on the direction of the current and if tide is going in or out, which can affect your approach to your swim session.
Swim with a friend
If possible, swim with a friend. Not only will the provide some companionship (and perhaps some moral support if you’re training for a particular goal!), but should any problems arise in the water, you can assist each other or at the very least be able to shout for help.
Know how to react in a situation
You may be a strong and confident swimmer, but you should always be prepared for what to do in a life-threatening situation. Familiarise yourself with the float to live technique promoted by the RNLI, as well as invaluable knowledge such as learning how to escape from a riptide and the different types of beach flags.
Wearing brightly coloured swimming costumers and swim caps is a great way to let others in and out of the water know of your presence. SwimTrek uses bright pink, orange and yellow hats on all of its trips. Keep your swim cap to use after your SwimTrek holiday ends to remain visible to boats and other swimmers in the water, to lifeguards and of course to remind yourself of great memories from your trip! A brightly coloured tow float can also be a good idea to attract attention to yourself, as well as carrying a drink or gels.
Know your limits
Help to take preventative steps in maintaining your water safety by not putting yourself in a situation where you are in danger. Don’t push yourself to distances or speeds that will take you to far from the shore or that you exhaust yourself completely.